What Lauren Boebert Gets Dead Wrong About Air Travel After 9/11

BySteven I. Green

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During an look on FoxNews Thursday, Congresswoman Lauren Boebert (R-CO) dismissed the plan of widespread-feeling gun reform adhering to the most recent faculty shooting, when a teenager who legally bought a semi-computerized rifle killed 19 college students and two academics in Texas.

“My firearm is my equalizer,” Boebert explained to Sean Hannity, before building what aviation specialists say was a baffling analogy. “When 9/11 occurred, we did not ban planes. We secured the cockpits.”

“Her position is just preposterous,” suggests Bryan Del Monte, a previous Pentagon formal all through the George W. Bush administration who is at this time the president of the Aviation Agency, a advertising firm catering to the aviation sector. “Yeah, we did not ban planes. But we also didn’t do nothing.”

In the aftermath of 9/11, the federal government, speedily and in bi-partisan trend, designed massive, sweeping improvements to air vacation — including placing in area a raft of principles and limits for travelers that even now keep on being nowadays.

It began with a massive investigation into how terrorists have been capable to hijack plane and switch them into weapons. “We had the 9/11 fee, which went through a gajillion pages of information and testimony,” suggests Del Monte.

Much more FROM FORBESWe Have ‘An Epidemic’ Of Guns At U.S. Airports, Claims TSA Formal

What followed was a comprehensive overhaul of aviation security in no time flat. “At the time, airport safety was mainly an outsourced operate,” states Del Monte.

But significantly less than two months immediately after the attacks, President Bush signed the Aviation and Transportation Safety Administration Act, which made the TSA, an agency that now employs a lot more than 50,000 officers responsible for protection at 440 federalized airports.

Soon afterward, in December 2001, just after “shoe bomber” Richard Reid attempted to ignite explosives concealed in his shoes on a flight from Paris to Miami, passengers were being necessary to clear away their footwear at airport security checkpoints.

So in fewer than three months, air travellers experienced gone from currently being ready to stroll by stability a handful of minutes right before a flight to obtaining to develop a picture ID, clear away their sneakers and go via X-ray protection screening before boarding airplanes. Beloved ones were no more time equipped to accompany passengers right to the gate to see them off.

And adhering to other terrorist tries came a lot more constraints. In 2006, just after a terrorist plot to detonate liquid explosives on at minimum 10 flights from the United Kingdom to the U.S. and Canada, the TSA banned all liquids, gels and aerosols from have-on luggage. A month later on, the rule was eased to produce the 3-1-1 rule, limiting liquids and gels to containers no even bigger than 3.4 ounces in a resealable just one-quart bag. This rule is nevertheless in spot.

In 2017, pursuing an “increased danger to aviation stability,” the TSA started necessitating most tourists to eliminate laptops and other digital devices bigger than a cellphone from have-on luggage. Only travellers who have been prescreened via TSA PreCheck can skip this stage.

Extra FROM FORBESTSA: U.S. Tourists Maintain ‘Forgetting’ They Packed Loaded Guns

As Rep. Boebert might know, the key precedence of TSA officers is to retain weapons or explosives from making their way on aircraft. Final calendar year, the agency caught a history-breaking 5,972 firearms at airport checkpoints, the most at any time — a 35% leap from the 4,432 guns uncovered in 2019, ahead of Covid-19 triggered air passenger quantity to plummet.

Probably most alarming, additional than 80% of the firearms seized at airport protection checkpoints are loaded, according to TSA data.

An airline passenger is permitted to travel with a firearm as long as it is unloaded and packed in checked baggage, independently from ammunition, in a locked hardback situation and declared at the airline look at-in counter. “The airline will make sure it will get put in the stomach of the airplane,” a TSA spokesperson explained. “In addition, people who want to journey with their firearms require to know the gun laws in the jurisdictions they are flying to and from.”

Notably, laws prohibiting guns on planes have been in spot for decades — due to the fact extended just before the TSA existed, and just before the 9/11 terrorist attack in 2001.

But 9/11 fundamentally altered air journey. “The structure of the countrywide security equipment transformed in buy to answer to and mitigate the results and loss of daily life from these kinds of a terrorist assault,” says Del Monte. “If we have been to do so with regard to gun violence, that would call for the federal federal government to do a significant look at the cause of why little ones get their hands on weapons and why they are equipped to go into educational institutions.”

Lauren Boebert’s place of work is closed for the vacation weekend and could not be arrived at for remark.


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